We are all aware that touching door furniture may contaminate our hands after picking up what someone else left behind. But how dirty are the surfaces you can’t avoid? How often have you witnessed anyone actually cleaning the door locks and handles? Never?

A recent Touch Point Health Check testing cleanliness of door furniture across multiple sites on Sydney’s northern beaches revealed that on average at each location most touch points were high contamination risk. This was as true of aged care is it was for fast food restaurants or private schools. “There is no getting around touching door furniture” said Bernard Thompson Managing Director of Rapelle a Warriewood based manufacturer and service provider of protective coating products and services.

Thompson said he was amazed to be told by the maintenance manager of a leading private school that cleaning door hardware is not part of the cleaner’s specification. “Why don’t cleaners have to clean the door locks even in the toilets?” he asked and was told it is not an issue the school is concerned with. It would appear this not specified task may be true of all schools and perhaps cleaning generally. When did you last see a cleaner clean the door handles?

Thompson devised a Touch Point Health Check based on food standard cleaning methodology to ascertain cleanliness using Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) swabs on door furniture. ATP is present in all animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast and mould cells. Detection of ATP indicates the presence of contamination by any of these sources. In all, more than 50 separate swabs were taken on 5 touch points per location. Using a Hygiena SystemSURE Plus™ ATP Meter, a device commonly used to monitor sanitary conditions in industry; Thompson swabbed door furniture to measure levels of ATP.


Thompson conducted a Touch Point Health Check at two peninsula based fast food restaurants, two schools, two aged care centres, two shopping malls and two public amenities. The results particularly on front doors or elevator buttons ie non critical touch points vs a toilet door lock were alarming. In fact front door ATP readings were worse than the toilet door lock at each location. Touch point checks were conducted where possible, early in the morning post cleaning.

Results, remembering everyday objects with an ATP reading of 300 or higher are considered to have a high risk for illness transmission. The best way to ensure touch points are clean is to wipe them over each day with an alcohol based wipe to clean the surface of any contaminates.

Fast food 5 handles tested at each location with the worst reading 2213 on the front door entrance handle.

Shopping Malls 5 handles tested with the worst being a bench seat arm with 1184 and kiddy ride handles 836


To enquire about the Touch Point Health Check or for detailed results of this door furniture surveys go to www.rapelle.com.au.


Multiple ATP site test and similar sites on Sydney’s north shore July 2013

Fast food example A 2/7/2013 8.00am Pass (RLU) Fail (RLU)
Front door handle <50 >2213
M toilet cubicle door lock <50 >376
Exit handle from toilet to corridor <50 >944
Exit handle from corridor to restaurant <50 >446
Food court exit handle <25 >962
Comments. FAIL across all touch points.
Fast food example B 2/7/2013 9.00am
Men’s toilet flush button <50 134
Men’s toilet door lock <50 320
Exit door from toilet <50 768
Restaurant door entrance <50 575
Kids play door handle (noted mum wiping with sleeve) <50   83
Comments. FAIL across all touch points.

View Entire Table Here >>>>


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